VINHO VERDE THAT COULD BE CHABLIS: Casal Ventozela delivers the ‘tres chic’ elevated feeling you get in a modern space with expensive finishes. A lot of energy and tension from low yielding grapes – expressing the minerality of the soil. The reason people pay $25 for Chablis – yours for $15 from Portugal. Aperitif or seafood.
CASAL de VENTOZELA 14 Vinho Verde, Portugal 428326 Vintages $14.95
P.S. It’s possible to remove the ugly ‘medal winning’ sticker, and enjoy the beautifully simple label.
ALENTEJO THAT COULD BE POUILLY-FUISSE: Everyone who has treavelled with us to Portugal has commented on how much they enjoyed the white wines. “So easy to drink.” Totally agree of course. Most of the whites we have in Lisbon come from the very hot Alentejo region so there is lots of flavor, and some richness. But they have lovely freshness too. The ‘just perfect’ for most events feeling. Up-scale without getting into Chardonnay glamour.
TIAGO CABACO 14 Alentejo, Portugal 429316 Vintages $14.95
DOURO RED THAT COULD BE A RHONE: Most of the red wines coming out of Portugal’s Douro region are on the hefty, manly side. Bordeaux has been the prototype, along with Californian blockbusters, but I’m delighted to see that producers are also crafting reds with a more moderate, everyday feeling. Still with character, but suited to the non-beefsteak meals. Quinta Nova’s Pomares is gentle and super friendly but not dummed-down with sweetness. Shades of a bistro wine from somewhere between Burgundy and the Rhone. A perfect partner for roast chicken, earthy pasta or burger.
QUINTA NOVA 11 Douro ‘Pomares’, Portugal 214007 Vintages $16.95